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Mount Vernon Girls’ Basketball Showing Improvement

Majors have won 4 of 5, including victory over Oakton.

Mount Vernon girls’ basketball coach Courtney Coffer said senior forward Samantha Porter has been “playing out of her mind.”

Mount Vernon girls’ basketball coach Courtney Coffer said senior forward Samantha Porter has been “playing out of her mind.” Photo by Craig Sterbutzel.

Fourth-year Mount Vernon girls’ basketball head coach Courtney Coffer has had some talented teams during his time with the Majors, but for one reason or another, some of those teams have fallen short of their potential.

Last season, Mount Vernon had at least five future college athletes on its roster and produced a record of 22-3, but the Majors lost in the Northern Region quarterfinals.

This season, Mount Vernon is less talented after the graduation of Kelly Loftus, Taylor Dunham and Tiffany Webster. However, after dropping its season-opener to Centreville, 60-32, the Majors have been climbing toward their potential.

“I think [there has] been a huge difference form this team and my teams in the past. My teams in the past have generally started strong and we‘ve tended to fizzle out. We’ve reached our peak too early. This team is [the opposite].”

--- Mount Vernon girls’ basketball coach Courtney Coffer

Mount Vernon defeated Forest Park 49-38 on Jan. 18, improving its record to 9-3. The Majors have won three straight and four of their last five, including a 64-59 victory against perennial power Oakton on Jan. 9.

“I think [there has] been a huge difference form this team and my teams in the past,” Coffer said. “My teams in the past have generally started strong and we‘ve tended to fizzle out. We’ve reached our peak too early. This team is [the opposite].”

Mount Vernon has faced three of the top teams in the region. The Majors opened the season with a lopsided loss to Centreville, when Mount Vernon was without the services of senior point guard DJ JeanPierre, who sat out with a concussion. The Majors also lost to Edison 62-39 on Jan. 10. The Eagles pulled away late after JeanPierre fouled out.

One day prior to the Edison loss, however, Mount Vernon picked up a confidence-building win over Oakton, a program that prior to last season had given the Majors fits.

“It was huge,” Coffer said. “We always felt like we could compete with anybody.”

JeanPierre, senior guard Chanel Shannon and senior forward Samantha Porter have been standouts for Mount Vernon. JeanPierre, a senior transfer, is averaging 13 points per game. Shannon had 21 points and seven assists during the win against Oakton.

Porter, a Christopher Newport commit, is averaging 14 points and nine rebounds. She finished with 21 points and 10 rebounds against Forest Park and garnered attention from Division I coaches, Coffer said.

“Samantha Porter has been out of control,” Coffer said. “She’s been playing out of her mind.”

Mount Vernon will travel to face Lee at 7:30 p.m. today.